Investors have been anxious that USA economic and corporate earnings growth could stumble under the strain of a slowing global economy and the costly trade war between the United States and China.
"With hopes for Fed stimulus as the biggest driver of stocks' buoyancy in the face of trade tensions and weakening global growth, today's relatively dovish Fed minutes were about in line with investors' high expectations", said Alec Young, Managing Director of Global Markets Research at FTSE Russell, in a note.
Meanwhile, addressing to a solid consumer demand in the United States reflected on quarterly earnings' reports of the retailers, a chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago, JJ Kinahan said, "As long as we have the healthy environment in jobs that we have right now, it's going to be very hard to shake people's confidence".
"Investors are counting on the strength of consumer spending", said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey. S&P 500 e-minis were up 22 points, or 0.76% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 60.5 points, or 0.79%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 49 points, or 0.2%, to 26,252. The Nasdaq climbed 71, or 0.9%, to 8,020. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.3% to 6,501.08 and India's Sensex shed 0.5% to 36868.14. The broad market index is up 16.6% for 2019.
Investors are looking to Chairman Jerome Powell's speech Friday for guidance about whether the Fed might cut rates at its next meeting in September. A key concern is that the US-Chinese tariff war will weigh on global economic growth.
The Trump administration has imposed a 25% tariff on $250 billion worth of goods imported from China. Home Depot on Tuesday cut its sales expectations for the year in part because of the potential tariff impact.
A look at Target and Lowe's earnings yesterday appeared to dim investors' concerns about the impact tariffs may have on U.S. consumers. Target has been pushing faster delivery and investing heavily in new private label brands. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected adjusted earnings per share of $2.01 on sales of $20.94 billion.
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According to YouMail, which conducted the survey, that represented a almost 57 percent increase in total robocall volume over 2017 figures.
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Lowe's delivered positive results despite concerns of hard weather and deflation in the price of lumber. The stock jumped 10.4%.
That came a day after rival Home Depot reported strong results of its own. Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) gained between 0.6% and 1.2%.
Investors took a dim view of Cree's latest quarterly results.
Encouraging housing market data sent homebuilders higher.
The S&P index recorded 23 new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 51 new highs and 46 new lows.
The data from industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) showed that USA crude oil stocks had fallen 3.5 million barrels in the week to August 16.
Hovnanian Enterprises led the pack, vaulting 12.4%.